Romanticism and Popular Culture in Britain and Ireland

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From the ballad-seller to the Highland bard, from 'pot-house politics' to the language of low and rustic life, the writers and artists of the British Romantic period drew eclectic inspiration from the realm of plebeian experience, even as they helped to constitute the field of popular culture as a new object of polite consumption. Representing the work of leading scholars from both Britain and North America, Romanticism and Popular Culture in Britain and Ireland offers a series of fascinating insights into changing representations of 'the people', while demonstrating at the same time a unifying commitment to rethinking some of the fundamental categories that have shaped our view of the Romantic period. Addressing a series of key themes, including the ballad revival, popular politics, urbanization, and literary canon-formation, the volume also contains a substantial introductory essay, which provides a wide-ranging theoretical and historical overview of the subject.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: '… this volume provides a valuable overview of an important sub-area of modern Romantic studies, along with diverse specialised studies from which readers are bound to select those of particular interest to themselves. Elegantly produced, as one would expect from Cambridge University Press, the collection has been tightly edited by Connell and Leask and should be an important resource for scholars and postgraduates for years to come.' Literature and History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521880121
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2009
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Connell is a University Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Selwyn College, and was recently awarded an Early Career Fellowship at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) in Cambridge. He is the author of Romanticism, Economics and the Question of 'Culture' (2001), together with a number of essays on the literature and culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Nigel Leask is Regius Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Glasgow. He has published widely in the area of romantic literature and culture, including Curiosity and the Aesthetics of Travel Writing, 1770-1840: 'From an Antique Land' (2002) and Land, Nation and Culture, 1740-1840: Thinking the Republic of Taste (co-edited with David Simpson and Peter De Bolla, 2004).

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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. What is the people? Philip Connell and Nigel Leask; Part II. Ballad Poetry and Popular Song: 2. 'A degrading species of Alchymy': ballad poetics, oral tradition and the meanings of popular culture Nigel Leask; 3. Refiguring the popular in Charlotte Brooke's Reliques of Irish Poetry Leith Davis; 4. 'An individual flowering on a common stem': melody, performance and national song Kirsteen McCue; Part III. Politics and the People: 5. Rus in Urbe John Barrell; 6. The 'sinking down' of Jacobinism and the rise of the counter-revolutionary man of letters Kevin Gilmartin; 7. Shelley's Mask of Anarchy and the visual iconography of female distress Ian Haywood; Part IV. The Urban Experience: 8. Popularizing the public: Robert Chambers and the rewriting of the antiquarian city Ina Ferris; 9. Keats, popular culture and the sociability of theatre Gillian Russell; 10. A world within walls: Haydon, The Mock Election and debtors' prisons Greg Dart; Part V. Canon-Formation and the Common Reader: 11. Every-day poetry: William Hone, popular antiquarianism, and the literary anthology Mina Gorji; 12. How to popularize Wordsworth Philip Connell.

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